Dogs and fences hinder meter readers

The problems faced by meter readers was discussed briefly, Monday, Dec. 2, at the regular monthly meeting of the City of California Board of Aldermen.

By ordinance, the electric and water meters must be accessible for reading, but dogs and locked gates are frequently a problem for the meter readers. Fenced yards are not so much of a problem unless the gate is locked. Water and Wastewater Supervisor Kyle Wirts said a four-foot fence can be stepped over if the gate is locked, but six or eight foot privacy fences are another matter entirely.

When there is a dog in the fenced yard, there is a possible danger to the meter reader. Wirts said that in some places two meter readers go, since one reads the meter while the other fends off a dog.

Utility customers will soon have the availability to pay city utility bills online. Kari Less and Daniel Toosley, representing Central Bank, explained the system to the council, after which the online bill pay system was approved.

City Clerk Brian Scrivner said he hopes it will be available in January. A contract must be signed and an icon added to the city website. When the system is operational, the utility customer will be able to go to www.cityofcalifornia.net, click on the icon and pay by credit card.

"We get the most requests for this service," Scrivner said.

It was announced that Co-Mo Connect will have representatives in the Public Meeting Room at the City Hall from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 18 to answer questions about telephone, computer and television services available with the new Co-Mo Connect fiber optic system being installed.

The residential demolition project, to rid the city of deteriorating residential structures, is underway with asbestos mitigation being carried out at this time.

Bob Gilbert, Bartlett and West Engineers, said that the final part of the sidewalk project, seeding of a certain area, was reported to have been completed. That finishes the project. There is some disagreement to be worked out between Bartlett and West and a contractor regarding the amount the city yet owes on a part of the project. The new sidewalk stretches on the west side of Highway 87 (Oak Street) from Business 50 to Lake Street.

Wastewater Operator Patrick Murphy has received the Class A Wastewater Operator's License. This is the highest rating possible in the state.

Megan Floyd has been hired to fill the City Utility Secretary position. Police Chief Mike Ward announced the hiring of new Reserve Police Officer Steven Phillips.

Filing for the April election will begin Dec. 17 and will close Jan. 21. The positions open are Ward I Alderman Joe Coffelt, Ward II Alderwoman Debbie Ferguson and Ward III Alderman Lanny Ash.

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